Photo: Brazil Independence Day
Today, all of Brazil is celebrating and rejoicing its 191-year-old independence from the Portuguese and is often called Sete de Setemebro. The Portuguese arrived in 1532 and stayed for close to 300 years, as it colonized the region and colonized native populations. The fight for independence started in 1820, when Dom Pedro stood up against the Portuguese who wanted Brazil to remain a colony.
On September 7, 1822, after receiving orders from the Portuguese parliament limiting his powers in Brazil, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence, near the Ipiranga River by declaring “By my blood, by my honor and by God: I will make Brazil free.”
There will be numerous military parades throughout the country and almost everyone is given the day off from work.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their regards to Brazil and its people:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to all Brazilians as you celebrate your national day on September 7.
More than two decades ago, I visited Brazil for the first time as part of the U.S. delegation to the Rio Summit – the first time the community of nations united to address climate change. When I visited Brazil in August, I had the opportunity to meet with government leaders and students, and to discuss our shared interest in advancing economic opportunity, environmental protection, and research and innovation.
I was particularly impressed with the progress made by Brazil in fostering education exchange and cooperation under President Rousseff’s Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. These are the types of connections that form the basis of the enduring partnership between the Brazilian and American people.
As you celebrate this special day, I offer all Brazilians my warmest wishes.